And now you're thinking, "what kind of books is she reading to her kids?!"
One of the common themes in kids' books is words that are opposites. We have at least 3 books that tackle this topic: Boynton's Opposites, the most excellent Hippo Opposites by Janik Coat, and parts of I'll Teach My Dog A Lot of Words by Frith.
In I'll Teach My Dog A Lot of Words, there's a comparison that bugs the crap out of me. Fat and Thin. The illustration is with animals and it's not making a value judgment, but it still bothers me. First, as anyone with a toddler or preschooler knows, they are way into classifying things in their environment.
They also have no filter, especially when in public. Like the time T pointed out "Mama, look at that brown baby eating a banana!" very loudly while we were in Trader Joe's. Not offensive, of course, just a little uncomfortable when everyone can hear.
So back to the books. I don't really need "fat" in my preschooler's vocabulary. I can't think of one situation where it's ok to apply that word to a person and I sure as heck DO NOT want them using it to describe themselves.
There are plenty of other words to describe *things* that weigh a lot or look big - heavy, fluffy, large, etc. Boynton and Coat both get it - they use heavy/light and show animals on a see-saw or in a hot air balloon/under water to illustrate this.
And no doubt, preschoolers raised on these books will likely find some other way to comment on people's size, like big or heavy, and they still need to learn that it's not appropriate to comment on strangers' appearances (unless directly giving them a compliment, of course).
But I think getting rid of "fat" would go a long way. Language matters.